Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Obamacare Bombshell: Department of Justice Brief from AFLC Litigation Exposes Obama’s Lie: “You Can Keep Your Plan if You Like It”
American Freedom Law Center (includes video): David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented: “What President Obama is doing to the uniquely American constitutional republic—a nation of laws not of charismatic charlatans—appears nearly irreversible. But, at long last and thankfully, the American people are waking up to the atrocity that is Obamacare and are accordingly holding President Obama and his army of liberal, progressive bureaucrats accountable for their destructive policies and lies.”
Marco Rubio at Wall Street Journal: It is a damning indictment of ObamaCare’s viability when the president’s only response to people losing their health insurance plans entails putting them on the hook for bailing out insurance companies. The American people are already being directly hurt by ObamaCare’s early failures, and it is unconscionable that they be expected to bail out companies when more failures emerge.
Washington Post: Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) said Friday his state will not expand Medicaid under President Obama’s signature health-care law after a report estimated it would cost the state about $200 million over seven years.
Ed Whelan at NRO: The last big question under RFRA is whether a substantial burden on a person’s exercise of religion can survive strict scrutiny. More precisely, RFRA provides . . .
CNSNews: With all the problems facing the rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, nowhere is the situation worse or more surprising than in Oregon, a progressive state that has enthusiastically embraced the federal law but has so far failed to enroll a single person in coverage through the state’s insurance exchange.
Legal Victory for Catholic Business, Court: ‘Nothing inherently incompatible between religious exercise and profit-seeking’ | Catholic Education Daily
Catholic Education Daily: According to the Catholic News Service, Matt Bowman–senior legal counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom,which represented the Grote family in their suit–said, “We’re very glad that the court recognized that all Americans have religious freedom, including when they try to earn a living in business.” –
Faith is Not ‘Compartmentalized:’ Court Grants Injunction Against Obamacare Abortion Pill Mandate | Christian News Net
Christian News Net: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represented Grote Industries, applauded the majority decision on Tuesday. “All Americans, including job creators, should be free to honor God and live according to their faith,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “The court’s decision joins the majority of other rulings on the mandate, which have found it to excessively conflict with our nation’s guarantee of religious freedom to all Americans.” “The decision rightly foresees the dangers of allowing government to have this kind of power,” he added. “If the government can force family business owners to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody.”
Religion Clause Blog: Fifty-eight percent (58%) view the law unfavorably, up five points from the previous survey and the highest finding in regular surveying since early January.
Jonathan Last a Weekly Standard: The Atlantic reports that in practice, this means that a married couple in New York making more than a combined $62,040 gets no subsidies from Obamacare. But two people who live together without getting married? They can make up to a combined $91,920 and still get subsidies from the government.
Live Action News: Yet another lawsuit was filed challenging the abortion pill mandate requiring employers to provide certain abortion inducing drugs as part of health care plans. On Tuesday, Ave Maria School of Law, through attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a federal lawsuit in Florida.
Human Events: (reprints the ADF press release and links to ADFMedia.org). “Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration on behalf of Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Fla.”
WorldNetDaily: The case argues that since the U.S. Constitution requires that revenue-raising measures originate in the U.S. House and Obamacare was created in the Senate, the law is unconstitutional. The case is headed toward the Supreme Court.
Obamacare Abortion Mandate, Religious Liberty at the threshold of the U.S. Supreme Court | Matt Bowman on Relevant Radio with Sheil Liaugminas
Matt Bowman appeared on Relevant Radio with Sheil Liaugminas to discuss this: 7th Circuit: Obama’s Defense Of Abortion Pill Mandate ‘Unsound And Extraordinary’ | MP3 audio 11:33 mins
Ed Whelan at NRO: Now let’s turn to the next question under RFRA: whether the HHS mandate substantially burdens plaintiffs’ refusal, on religious grounds, to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives (including drugs that sometimes operate as abortifacients) and sterilization.
Ken Klukowski at Breitbart: A president has “prosecutorial discretion” to prioritize which lawbreakers to prosecute in federal court, but there is no “enforcement discretion” to determine which laws on the books he will enforce. Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution commands of every president: “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Jonathan Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy: Yesterday, the President announced a purported fix to the problem that, under the PPACA, insurance companies are not allowed to renew policies that fail to comply with PPACA requirements, even if consumerslike their existing plans. This was not an accident.
Fox News: The House passes a Republican sponsored bill to restore health insurance policies canceled by ObamaCare. The bill passed, 261-157 — including 39 Democrats who voted for the measure.
Catholic News Agency: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, argued before the court on behalf of the company. “The decision rightly foresees the dangers of allowing government to have this kind of power,” he stated Nov. 12. “If the government can force family business owners to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody.” Bowman said a majority of other rulings on the mandate have found it to “excessively conflict with our nation’s guarantee of religious freedom to all Americans.” “All Americans, including job creators, should be free to honor God and live according to their faith.”
The Washington Free Beacon: The Alliance Defending Freedom filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Ave Maria School of Law against the Obama administration on Tuesday to challenge the insurance mandate coverage for abortifacients, sterilization, and contraception. Life News reports: . . . “The question is whether the government can pick and choose what faith is, who the faithful are, and when and where they can exercise that faith,” added Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The cost of religious freedom for Americans and organizations across the country that face this mandate is severe. The potential for massive fines and lawsuits could shut down religious educational institutions as well as private employers with similar religious convictions.”
The Boston Pilot: Alliance Defending Freedom, until recently known as the Alliance Defense Fund, is a Christian legal organization founded in 1994 that advocates for the religious liberty of Americans and people around the world. Bill Grote, chairman of the board of his family’s business, received a phone call around 8:30 p.m. Nov. 8 from a lawyer affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom who told him of the legal victory. “He said, ‘You’ve got a big win.’ That was great news to hear,” said Grote, a member of Prince of Peace Parish in Madison.
LifeNews: “Faith-based educational institutions should be free to live and operate according to the faith they teach and espouse,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “If the government can force Ave Maria to violate its faith in order to exist, then the government can do the same or worse to others.” . . . Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys are also litigating 15 other lawsuits against the mandate. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate.
Religion Clause Blog: On Tuesday, a petition for certiorari (full text) was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in Eden Foods Inc. v. Sebeius, (cert. filed 11/12/2013) . . . As reported by BNA Daily Report for Executives [subscription required], the Christian college has now filed a motion and supporting Memorandum of Law (full text) seeking a similar preliminary injunction for the health plan covering its employees.
The only way to end that discriminatory system is to bring everyone into the system and pay one fair price. That means that the genetic winners, the lottery winners who’ve been paying an artificially low price because of this discrimination now will have to pay more in return.
Washington Post (includes video): President Obama announced Thursday an administrative change in one of the bedrock ideas of the new health-care law, allowing insurers to continue offering individual insurance plans for another year even if they do not comply with the law’s rules for minimum benefits.
The Columbian: Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler quickly quashed President Obama’s offer to allow canceled insurance plans to continue through 2014. “We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies,” Kreidler said in a written statement issued Thursday morning. “I believe this is in the best interest of the health insurance market in Washington.”
TimesOnline: According to the documents submitted Tuesday by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a coalition of Christian attorneys that filed the lawsuit last year on behalf of the college, forcing Geneva to provide employees access to the “morally objective abortion-inducing drugs and devices” violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “Requiring the College’s employee plan to facilitate access to abortifacients substantially burdens its ability to exercise its religious beliefs in the sanctity of life,” Geneva’s motion said.
CatholicPhilly.com: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, has helped represent the Grote family in their suit. “We’re very glad that the court recognized that all Americans have religious freedom, including when they try to earn a living in business,” Bowman said. Alliance Defending Freedom, until recently known as the Alliance Defense Fund, is a Christian legal organization founded in 1994 that advocates for the religious liberty of Americans and people around the world.
Townhall: Now, however, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is letting their grievances known (once again), informing Team Obama they can never, in good faith, support such a liberty-crushing law. They’ll pay the fine instead. LifeNews has the details . . .
CNSNews: As more and more Democrats point accusing fingers at states that have opted not to expand their Medicaid programs, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said for him, it’s a question of Medicaid reform — and whether the federal government will keep its promises to the states.
Ed Whalen at National Review: Let’s start with the questions whether each plaintiff corporation (1) is a person under RFRA, and (2) is engaged in an exercise of religion when it refuses to provide health insurance that covers contraceptives.
One News Now: “The decision rightly foresees the dangers of allowing government to have this kind of power,” says Bowman. “If the government can force family business owners to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody.” . . . ADF is handling14 other lawsuits against the mandate. A total of 77 are currently in the federal court system.
A couple of observations about the Seventh Circuit’s discussion of RFRA’s reach in the contraceptives mandate challenges | Kevin Walsh at Mirror of Justice
Kevin Walsh at Mirror of Justice: I have finally finished reading through the 154 pages of the Seventh Circuit opinions in Korte v. Sebelius (mentioned by Rick a bit earlier today). To Rick’s assessment of Judge Sykes’s “excellent opinion” as “one of the most detailed and deep” analyses of the interaction between RFRA and the contraceptives mandate, I would add that Judge Rovner’s dissent is one of the most thorough expositions of the government’s side of the case (although Judge Rovner’s mode of analysis does not map directly onto the government’s). Reading the majority and dissenting opinions together provides a good overview of the state of the arguments on both sides.
Denver Post: A new round of advertisements unveiled by supporters of Colorado’s health insurance exchange has ignited controversy that rippled through social media Tuesday and launched debate over their portrayal of women.
Breitbart: There are too many rolling and coming catastrophes caused by ObamaCare to keep track of. Just wait until the employer market is hit late next year. But within a few weeks, a humanitarian crisis is about to hit millions who could find themselves without health insurance. Millions who had their insurance policies cancelled are now unable to re-insure themselves on the broken ObamaCare websites. In liberal Massachusetts alone, only 1% of those cancellations have re-enrolled.
The Hill: About 106,000 people selected private health plans under ObamaCare in the program’s first month amid massive problems with the enrollment website that have plunged the administration into a political quagmire.
Catholic Register: att Bowman, senior legal counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, has helped represent the Grote family in their suit. “We’re very glad that the court recognized that all Americans have religious freedom, including when they try to earn a living in business,” Bowman said.
Appeals Court Blasts Obamacare As ‘unsound’: Rules that abortion-pill mandate violates religious liberty | WND
WorldNetDaily: According to ADF, the mandate “forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties” in violation of owners’ faith. “All Americans, including job creators, should be free to honor God and live according to their faith,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, who argued before the 7th Circuit in May. “The court’s decision joins the majority of other rulings on the mandate, which have found it to excessively conflict with our nation’s guarantee of religious freedom to all Americans. The decision rightly foresees the dangers of allowing government to have this kind of power. If the government can force family business owners to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody.”
Sacramento CBS (AP): Jones says more than 1 million cancellation notices have been sent to Californians as the Affordable Care Act begins allowing individuals to buy insurance through exchanges.
7th Circuit: Obama’s defense of abortion pill mandate ‘unsound and extraordinary’ | Alliance Defending Freedom
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a strongly worded decision Friday that found the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate to be in violation of federal religious liberty protections.
Fox News: Fewer than 50,000 Americans have thus far bought a health-care plan on the problem-plagued ObamaCare website according to an insurance industry report, representing only a fraction of the half-million enrollees the administration apparently wanted the first month.
LifeNews: In a 2-1 decision issued Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the court reversed the federal district court’s denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction and remanded the case for the district court to enter the preliminary injunction. The appeals court upheld the rights of both individuals and companies to challenge the ObamaCare HHS Mandate – the first decision of its kind in the ongoing HHS Mandate litigation.
Rasmussen: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 35% of Likely U.S. Voters now believe the trouble-plagued health care law is good for America. Fifty-five percent (55%) consider it bad for the country.
The Hill: The GOP wants to rebuild its political capital and public credibility by solving ObamaCare’s implementation problems. This pivot comes after Republicans took major hits in polls following the government shutdown.
Weekly Standard (embeds video): Former President Bill Clinton said that President Obama should keep his pledge to allow people to keep their current health care plans, if they like them, under Obamacare . . .
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: In the broadest ruling so far by a federal appeals court barring enforcement of the birth-control mandate in the new federal health care law, a divided Seventh Circuit Court panel decided on Friday that two profit-making companies and their Roman Catholic owners are likely to win their constitutional challenges.
National Review: A grand total of five people have completed enrollment in Obamacare thus far in Washington, D.C., according to information compiled by Republican senators Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (Utah).
Breitbart: A new Gallup poll brings more terrible news for President Obama and his signature health plan, showing that only 22% of uninsured Americans intend to buy insurance through the ObamaCare exchanges.
NCPA Policy Digest: Just as there are penalties in the tax code for couples who get married, financial penalties in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) also discourage couples from “tying the knot,” says Devon M. Herrick, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.
View the post here.
PBS: Lawmakers confronted Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with skepticism over fixes yet to be made on HealthCare.gov and concerns over cancelled policies. However, Sebelius maintained her stance to not delay the heath care law.
The Hill: Delaware has seen only a handful enrollments in its new ObamaCare insurance exchange, which is served by HealthCare.gov, according to an informal survey of community groups. The Associated Press reported that four patients had signed up for coverage as of Wednesday.
The Atlantic: The first time I heard Nona Willis Aronowitz talk about getting divorced to save money on health insurance I thought she couldn’t really be serious. We were at Monte’s, an old Italian place in South Brooklyn, having dinner with a group of New York women writers in late July.
Politicohttp://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/kathleen-sebelius-obamacare-hearing-takeaway-more-bad-news-99479.html: Kathleen Sebelius got through the latest Obamacare hearing Wednesday, but her message to Senate Democrats was a bit of a downer: Expect more bad news.
USCCB: Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged members of Congress to support the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).
Religion Clause Blog: In M&N Plastics, Inc. v. Sebelius, (D DC, Nov. 5, 2013), the federal district court for the District of Columbia granted the government’s motion to transfer a suit by a Michigan small business and its owners challenging the contraceptive coverage mandate to federal court in the plaintiff’s home district– the Eastern District of Michigan.
Kevin C. Walsh at Mirror of Justice Blog: A split panel of the D.C. Circuit held last week in Gilardi v. HHS that the HHS contraceptives mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This post is not about the merits of that holding (with which I agree), but about the court’s determination that “secular corporations” may not assert a RFRA claim. I think that the court’s analysis was flawed and that it reached a wrong decision on this issue.
Mennonite Cabinet Makers Tell Supreme Court: Don’t Let Obama Force Us to Obey HHS Mandate | LifeNews
LifeNews: “All Americans, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith,” said Senior Counsel David Cortman. “As our brief argues, this case provides the cleanest opportunity for the Supreme Court to uphold that long-held American principle.”
MLive.com: Right to Life of Michigan has filed a federal lawsuit over provisions of “Obamacare” that require insurance companies to provide sterilization, contraceptives and “morning-after” pills.
AP: Little more than a week after millions of consumers received health care cancellation notices, lawmakers in both parties are pushing legislation to redeem President Barack Obama’s long-ago pledge that anyone liking their coverage will be allowed to keep it under the nation’s controversial new law.
Yahoo Finance: Insurers say the early buyers of health coverage on the nation’s troubled new websites are older than expected so far, raising early concerns about the economics of the insurance marketplaces.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog: With lawyers in different cases arguing that theirs is the best one for the Supreme Court to use in deciding the legality of the birth-control mandate in the new federal health care law, the Court on Monday indicated that it will examine all four pending cases together later this month. The Court’s electronic docket said the four will be considered on November 26. If any are granted then or soon afterward, the Court probably would hear and decide them in the current Term.
ACLU sides with government on abortion pill mandate, says religions have attempted to justify discrimination
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “We of course have a longstanding commitment to religious liberty and free speech under the First Amendment, but we also defend women’s rights and reproductive freedom,” the ACLU’s state legal director, Witold Walczak, said. “Historically, religions have attempted to justify discrimination in ways that have been rejected by the courts.”
Townhall: Vermont, the first U.S. state to pass a law to implement single-payer, taxpayer-funded health insurance, has paid $170 million for its healthcare exchange website that does not work—and it only had to enroll 40,000 people.
Pa. Mennonite cabinetmakers answer Obama admin. in brief at Supreme Court | Alliance Defending Freedom
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to answer federal government arguments that downplayed the need for the court to fully hear a Pa. family business’s lawsuit against the Obamacare abortion pill mandate.
KPLU 88.5 (NPR): “The Obama administration and a Christian legal group called the Alliance Defending Freedom already have Supreme Court petitions pending in two different cases concerning the same issue,” Reuters reports.
Jenna Greene at National Law Journal: Christian public interest law groups the Thomas More Law Center and the Alliance Defending Freedom have brought about two dozen suits, arguing that the law violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment. In addition, the American Center for Law and Justice, led by Supreme Court advocate Jay Sekulow, has filed least seven suits.
Burlington Free Press: Vermont’s new insurance marketplace, like its federal counterpart, had a rocky launch Oct. 1 and remains plagued with glitches.
Ed Whalen at National Review: A divided panel of the D.C. Circuit ruled this morning, in Gilardi v. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Services, that two brothers, Francis and Philip Gilardi, who own and operate a food-supply company are entitled under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act to a preliminary injunction against imposition of the HHS mandate on contraception and abortifacients. Based only on a very quick skim, I provide this high-level summary:
Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review: A divided D.C. circuit court panel found: “We must determine whether the contraceptive mandate imposed by the Act trammels the right of free exercise—a right that lies at the core of our constitutional liberties—as protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” The case was brought byFrank and Phil Gilardi, two Catholic brothers who own Freshway Foods in Ohio. Ed Whelan’s instant legal analysis is here.